NBC News is expected to name Deborah Turness, a prominent British TV journalist, to be its next president.
Currently editor of Britain’s ITV News, Turness will take the position that was previously held by Steve Capus, who resigned from NBC News in March. The Los Angeles Times last month was first to report that Turness was a leading candidate for the post.
NBC News is declining comment on Turness and insiders there say no official announcement is expected Friday or Monday, which is when the network will unveil its new prime-time schedule to advertisers. However, people with knowledge of the matter expect the appointment to be unveiled in the near future.
While the tapping of Turness came as a surprise to those in New York’s media elite circles, NBC News Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel had made no secret that she was looking for an outsider to succeed Capus.
Turness has a high profile in Britain, where she became the first female editor of an English TV news division, which is akin to a news president in the U.S. The London Evening Standard described her as a “tough but fair livewire” and by the Guardian as someone “renowned for ripping up the rule book.” Turness is credited with keeping ITV News relevant against much bigger rivals, including the BBC.
A rising media star in Britain, Turness became the first female editor of an English news division when she assumed the top position at ITV News in 2004. Before that she held several posts there, in England, Paris and Washington.
NBC News already has ties to ITV. It shares reporters and resources in Africa and the Middle East with ITV.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.